“Oh you’re a feminist? You must be female and you must hate men.”
I want to kibosh the whole “man-hating” thing that feminists get unfairly generalized by. Let’s get one thing out of the way — feminism is the radical movement which claims women as people. And it doesn’t just stop there! The movement goes so far as to say that everybody is a somebody and is deserving of equal rights. It’s so whack, right? Diversity of sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, all of those things — feminism has got you, and we think you’re great. If you can’t get down with that, you either don’t understand the movement or you’re just plain sexist, and a slew of other “-ists.”
For those of you that simply believe that my rights should be stringently limited by decree of my vagina, you’re in the sexist category. But for those of you who are just a little confused and have lived your lives thinking that I am trying to storm the kingdom and claim your rights as my own — you’re just kind of missing it, but there is hope for you and I encourage you to keep reading.
There is a lot to tackle in the misconceptions of feminism. In light of the post-election madness, an issue at the forefront of my mind is the man-hating one — an age old favorite of those that call themselves “meninists” who stand for male rights activism in opposition of the evil feminists. My dudes, no need to feel threatened, I love you.
I love you! Honestly, what’s not to love? Okay, you’re flawed. Sometimes you don’t text back. But in reality, we’re all just trying our best. And often, men don’t have the same urgency that women do to fight for their inequalities. Men can get pretty comfortable with the patriarchy and kind of ride the wave. It’s annoying, but what good would hating half the population do for women? We’re not looking for more trouble. We need men to make this whole shindig go down the right way.
I get it, no one was given a handbook on how society can live out their gendered truths in harmony. Well, except for the early radicals like Betty Friedan who encouraged women to jump into the workforce and find happiness outside the kitchen. But sure, you’re a little lost. And, in even more defense of your ignorance, you’re not really being asked to face the issues of your masculinity the way women have been reevaluating their femininity. This is a big deal! And for the men that are shaking their heads at the computer getting all pissy, this could be revolutionary for you.
Being a man means a few things right off the bat: big muscles and deep pockets, being a heart throb. That’s what mom and pop and the rest of society have planned for you. “Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider,” that’s what we’re singing to you in the schoolyard. And the worst part of it all, is that you’re told to take it lightly. You are told not to care. You are told to be tougher with the teasing and become stronger and harder because of it.
That childhood stuff sticks, and you spend your teen years being reminded that there is nothing you can do about it. By college, oh forget about it. Bag more bitches, rack up the dollar chain. This is the point of your existence. Success in the sack and a million stacks. That’s the plan. Hot wife, big titties, low brains, maybe one of your sorority faves? And that’s the American Dream. It can all be yours, plus whatever else you want.
Before you get defensive — I am not hating on you. I am reminding you of reality and recognizing your struggle in masculinity. Being a man is not easy, and what I believe makes it hardest is the contrived societal expectation of you that says it should be!
My friend, we are fighting the same valiant fight. Or at least we should be. We both want to be seen. We both want to be heard. We both want to be validated. We both want to amend the misconceptions that are, for whatever reason, dictated by our genders.
Men, we have a lot of shit to work out. And I can guarantee you, it will be far easier with your support. Because women’s rights are human rights and because I love you, feminism has got to cut ties with the uncool, man-hating reputation. This movement is about opportunity and equality. Your voice matters and your voice is needed.
“Oh you’re a feminist? You must care a great deal about equality!” That’s more like it.
Contact CU Independent opinion writer Dani Pinkus at firstname.lastname@example.org.